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Meet FMF CAPE BRETON

 # of Employees: 935 civilians + 115 military = 1050

Industry Sector: Ship Repair 

Area of Town: Esquimalt

Primary Product/Service: Repair of ships and new capability insertion.

Annual Budget: Annual budget from the federal government is $80 million


How would you describe Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) CAPE BRETON in 30 words or less?

FMF CAPE BRETON is an in-house government shipyard that maintains and supports warships of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in Esquimalt.



 What is the best part about doing business in Greater Victoria?

Over the last 150 years the Navy has developed a good relationship with the people of Greater Victoria. This is seen in the support shown by the community to military members and their families. It also is evident in FMF CAPE BRETON’s dealings with the business community where there is a climate of cooperation and mutual respect. FMF CAPE BRETON is proud to have participated with industry, government organizations, educational institutions and others in a variety of projects that are contributing to the longevity and prosperity of the ship building and repair industry on Vancouver Island.



What is the best thing CAPE BRETON is doing for Greater Victoria?
 
FMF CAPE BRETON is a major employer, which benefits the community through direct purchases of goods and services and redistribution of employee wages. Longer term, FMF is fostering the next generation of skilled employees through apprentice, university co-op and student training programs. Some will stay at FMF, some will move on like many leaders in the local community who got their start at National Defence. FMF CAPE BRETON has a big heart. Collectively we are a major donor to the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign; individually, hundreds of us donate time and energy to a variety of causes.



What is it like working at CAPE BRETON?

Challenging and fun. The fun part is the endless variety of interesting problems encountered each day in maintaining and improving the hundreds of systems in warships and submarines; and working as part of team of highly skilled tradespersons, engineers and other specialists. Challenging because there is constant pressure to get ships to sea on time ready to do the job.



What are 3 things few people know about CAPE BRETON?

FMF CAPE BRETON supports the RCN but also does limited work for the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. For example, we quickly designed and manufactured bolt-on armour plating for vehicles used in Afghanistan. The armour was delivered as kits to be installed in theatre. It was successful in reducing casualties to Canadian troops.

FMF CAPE BRETON is located in Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard at the end of Esquimalt Road. The Dockyard first opened in 1842. Some of FMF’s buildings were built more than 100 years ago from bricks used as ballast in sailing ships. The Government of Canada recently approved the last phase of a major recapitalization of FMF’s infrastructure. When this project finishes in 2018, all of FMF will be working in new or modernized buildings that meet today’s seismic, health and safety standards.

FMF CAPE BRETON has arguably the most diverse, highly skilled workforce in Greater Victoria, able to support everything from steam valves to network systems. FMF employees can be involved in any stage of an equipment’s "life cycle" from design, through installation and testing, planned and corrective maintenance, upgrading and eventual disposal. FMF has several employees considered leaders in their fields.



What is CAPE BRETON proudest of?

Our people’s willingness to do whatever it takes. FMF’s motto is "We serve the Fleet" and they take it to heart. FMF employees are flexible, innovative and persistent in finding solutions to ships’ technical problems. They will work any amount of overtime, re-schedule holidays, fly half way around the world, or even go to sea to support a ship or submarine.



Are there any other fun facts about CAPE BRETON we should know about?

In 1887, under the terms of British Columbia's entry into Confederation, a graving dock (drydock) was opened at the Pacific Naval Station to facilitate repairs to naval and civilian ships. This graving dock remains in use by FMF CAPE BRETON. HMCS VICTORIA and HMCS WINNIPEG were docked in this historic facility last year. It takes over four hours to pump the water out of the drydock in order to get access to all areas of the ship exposed and ready for painting and repair.

FMF CAPE BRETON continues the name of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship CAPE BRETON, an RCN depot ship that was stationed in Esquimalt. Our east coast counterpart, FMF CAPE SCOTT, continues the name of the depot ship, HMCS CAPE SCOTT which was stationed in Halifax. Presumably locating the ships and FMFs on the opposite coast to their namesake capes was a naval joke.

For more information about the Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) CAPE BRETON check out their Chamber Directory Listing.

 

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